The Leprechaun Place


JK: There was this game we would play in elementary school. It’s really weird I think we made it up. We had a leprechaun place.

I: No way! So did we!

JK: Oh! Ours was… It was a tree that had a sort of a knotted indent in the base of it, in the playground for 1st-4th graders. And kids would make dresses out of flowers or furniture out of plants or the little pizza tables to put in it. Some girls would bring in barbie furniture but that was known as cheating. When the stuff moved around the next day, it would be like “Oh the leprechaun came!” When stuff went missing we would be like “Oh he liked that.” It evolved that the leprechaun had a wife, because kids wanted to make cute mini dresses and stuff. And then the teachers got mad at us for playing the game and shut it down.


The informant went to a private elementary school in Corona Del Mar, and this would have happened between 2003-2008. Many kids played the game, and it involved creativity, which the informant made a point of sharing with me. The game was played during recess and lunch and involved children from multiple grades.


This game speaks to the imaginations of children. I also had a similar experience of a ‘leprechaun place’ in elementary school, as mentioned above, although I do not remember it in as much detail. However, the magic of the leprechaun place seems to be the idea of another world with other beings that are smaller than you—similar to how children must feel around adults. This game gives children the opportunity to play caretaker in a sense, such as making clothes or tables for the leprechauns. The idea that Barbie furniture was cheating the game is poignant—the children realized things they made meant more than things manufactured for them. Such a distinction implies that children are proud of their work and eager to earn recognition for it, as shown through the fact that the children would see if the leprechaun took or simply moved their left item.